Designed to meet the needs of modern boaties, both recreational and commercial, the Steyr 236 turbodiesel engine is compact, lightweight and remarkably quiet and smoke-free

Austrian engine manufacturer, Steyr Daimler Puch has released a 212hp six-cylinder turbocharged marine diesel engine on the Australian market that is sure to stir interest among recreational and commercial boaties.

Steyr says its compact, lightweight marine diesel engine has been designed to capitalise on advances in boatbuilding technology. The result is the 236, which weighs a mere 305kg and offers an impressive power to weight ratio of 1.44kg/hp.

With a length of only 1038mm and width of 651mm, the engine is remarkably compact. In fact, the Steyr is up to 200mm shorter and 80mm narrower than comparative models in a similar hp range.

Steyr has used its unique 'mono block' construction method in producing the 236 which means the cylinder head and cylinder block are actually one unit. This revolutionary design enables better engine block cooling, reduces overall weight and obviously eliminates head cracks and blown head gaskets, says the maker.

Each engine sports an alloy housing, which is constructed to provide a sound absorption enclosure. There is no direct contact between the power unit and the alloy housing which allows the engine to run very quietly and vibration free.

Another revolutionary feature of the Steyr diesel is its modulated high-pressure direct injection system. The two-stage injection system is self-bleeding and provides 2000 bar pressure. Diesel knock is non-existent and the unique system ensures that there's no need for external high-pressure fuel lines.

Each Steyr marine diesel features electronic engine ma nagement that monitors all the engine's vital functions and precisely controls fuel flow for optimum combustion. Each engine features an electronic control box which can be connected directly to a laptop computer while underway in order to monitor the engine's performance and fuel consumption. The 236 is also certified to comply with the strict emission standards which are enforced in Europe.

Trade-A-Boat sampled one of the Steyr 236 diesels on the Brisbane River recently. The test engine was installed in a 25ft custom plate alloy vessel owned by Rob McIntyre from McIntyre Equipment Pty Ltd, the Australian distributors for Steyr Marine Diesels. The big tinnie was fitted with a Volvo Penta Duoprop sterndrive and had a displacement of about 2.2t.

The Steyr demo boat was on a trailer, which was submerged in order for the boat to be driven off. When Rob lowered the sterndrive and started the engine I couldn't believe how quiet it was. It sounded more like a four-cylinder petrol than a six-cylinder diesel.

The second thing that impressed me about the Steyr was the lack of smoke. Rob had to accelerate very hard in reverse to remove the boat from the trailer, however no smokey exhaust emissions could be seen. Many diesel engines at these revs in reverse would be smoking like a house on fire.

The 236 pushed the 25ft tinnie on to the plane effortlessly and the electronic engine management governed our revs until the engine reached its optimum working temperature. This feature prolongs engine life by preventing damage caused by applying full revs to a cold engine. It only took a couple of minutes to warm the engine and we were able to open her up.

As the tacho read 3200rpm, we were cruising comfortably at 25kt. Once again I was astounded by the lack of engine noise as we chatted amongst ourselves, even though we were sitting directly above an engine doing 3200 revs. Pushing the throttle to the dash saw the tacho rise to 4200rpm and the GPS register our speed as 34kt. Even at full revs the engine noise was minimal and there was nothing but clean air left in our wake.

McIntyre Equipment says that the Steyr diesels can be fitted to most existing or new sterndrives which make them an ideal choice if re-powering or converting from petrol to diesel. Alternatively, factory adapters are also available to suit Hurth transmissions, jet units and surface drives.

At the moment the 212hp six-cylinder turbocharged diesel is the largest in the Steyr marine diesel range. This restricts applications to planing vessels of about 35ft with twin motors, depending on the weight. The engines are already gaining popularity with commercial operators, and would be equally at home in a mid-range sportscruiser or lightweight gameboat.

Servicing of the Steyr diesels is done through McIntyre Equipment in Brisbane, with other authorised dealers in Adelaide, Hobart and Gladstone. An Australia-wide network is planned for the near future. Spare parts are in stock in Adelaide and will soon be available in Brisbane.

Steyr also manufactures a 163hp six-cylinder 2800rpm turbodiesel engine with a 24 volt dual alternator system designed primarily for use in large sailing vessels or displacement hulls.

Steyr has also just released a 144hp four-cylinder turbodiesel. With the four and six-cylinder engines already available and hints of a bigger engine on the drawing board, it appears Australians now have another competitive alternative on the marine diesel market.

The Steyr diesels will be on display at the Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show from May 20 to 23.

For more information on Steyr marine diesels, contact McIntyre Equipment, tel (07) 3390 8111 or fax (07) 3390 8311. Dealer enquiries are welcome.

Engine type: Direct-injected electronically controlled SOHC inline six-cylinder turbodiesel
Max hp/rpm: 212/4300
Max torque/rpm: 440Nm/2800
Piston displacement (cc): 3200
Bore x stroke (mm): 85 x 94
Injector system: Unit injector with dual-stage needle
Weight (dry, no trans): 305kg
Operating weight (std trans): 395kg
Dimensions (L x W x H mm): 1038 x 651 x 775
Rec. retail (engine only) $20,900
Supplied by: McIntyre Equipment P/L, Murrarie (Qld), tel (07) 3390 8111

Published : Tuesday, 1 June 1999

Prices and specifications supplied are for the market in Australia only and were correct at time of first publication. makes no warranty as to the accuracy of specifications or prices. Please check with manufacturer or local dealer for current pricing and specifications.

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